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Rauchbier | August Schell Brewing Company

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very good
44 Reviews
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Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 02-26-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 53
Photo of Mdog
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear reddish-brown, good head.

Smell: A mix of chimney smoke and smoked meats.

Taste: Smoked meats-summer sausage, some mild underlying sweetness and maybe even a little hop bite at the end.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, but you can tell it has some weight behind it.

Drinkability: Very tasty, not too expensive, I'd say very good.

Stag series #3 is a winner in my book, not overpowering with smoke but definitely the main flavor. Going to have to pick up some more before it's gone!

 497 characters

Photo of kbutler1
3.26/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft. On tap at Firkin Fest 2011. Pours a clear orange apricot color with a slight tan head. Bacon and smoke right off the bat in the nose. It's really all I smell in this one. Reminds meof a pan full of bacon that is starting to burn. Smoke, malt, and caramle in the flavor. The smoke is more mild than other smoke beers I have had but still stays with you after you finish your drink. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stag Series #3 Stamp on neck of bottle reads

A= Pours a dark amber color with a nice thick finger of head on it with some steady retention and solid lacing on the glass. Lighter than most other smoked beers I've had but this would be my first Rauchbier.

S= First thing I notice when I crack the glass is the smoke wafting through the room. Bacony soapy smoke. Smells like delicious pork fat. What you know about meat? Not much else is making it out of the glass just deep smokey deliciousness. Maybe a little leathery.

T= The taste is just as amazing. Leathery porky bacony and most of all tasty. Maybe a little bit of soap in the taste but not much. This is like a summer BBQ in a glass. One of the smokiest beers I've ever had but I know they can get much much more smokey. A tasty treat indeed.

M= Maybe the vigerous pour lead me to this but I got a a nice creamy smooth mouth with low to medium carbonationn.

D= This is a smoked beer they way a smoked beer should be. Nice work schells. I can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can crack a few of these around a fire of with some BBQ. What you know abuot meat?

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Photo of dbossman
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark copper hue with a thick, bubbly head that dissipates rather quickly to a thin head; looks pretty bubbly; not the greatest lacing

S: Obviously a lot of smoke here but also some caramel and bready malts with a touch of lemon

T: Really smokey up front and the smoke flavor is really meaty--ham and salt; it thins out a bit in the end but a bready sweet caramel with a touch of dark fruits finish out the flavors

F: A bit too thin overall for my liking though a decent amount does stick to the back of the tongue

O: Quite smokey and bready, which is a nice combination; but I just wish it had a little more body which would help out the appearance and mouth feel

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Photo of Chaz
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, brilliant brown-amber in color, topped with creamy a brownish-tan head. Exhibits excellent lacing throughout

Nose is pretty much what I'd expected in this type, but a little sweeter and also some traces of tannic, fusel and vegetal characteristics (not "off" as such, just). Actually smells a little bit 'meaty', and indeed this is much as I remember certain examples from e.g. Spezial and other commercial bottles from Germany. Light note of 'iodine' in the nose as well, and it's always there in the style, and also sometimes in other beers with smoked and roasted malts.

Sweet, tangy, and smokey all at once! A light saltiness and less tangy through the middle of the palate, and a dry, light roasted characteristic really lingers. Lightly bitter. Light note of alcohol in the aromatic portion here, but unobtrusive. There's a very easy-going sweetness throughout, along with a plum and raisin-like fruit character which is very nice and a little surprising. Finally, there's a spiciness here that is so subtle as to be almost un-noticeable. It's almost like the spiciness you get from 'Mexican cocoa', only much more subtle, and not at all hot.

Altogether there's a good mouthfeel and very good drinkability here, and it invites a second bottle (or pint) in short order.

This is not a style that appeals to everyone, but is instead a rather rare treat even for people with an experienced palate. Still, I'd love to see the brewer's take on a Rauch Bock!

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Photo of tewaris
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6-7% ABV
30 IBUs
OG: 15.0 Plato
22 SRM
12 oz. bottle with a freshness date of 07.17.11 poured into a pint glass on 04.14.11.

Stag # 3 pours clear and dark amber, almost like a lighter brown ale; a good light tan head forms quickly and recedes just as quick to a thin but present sheet of foam on the surface. Not much of lacing either.

This is a smoked beer alright! With strong but not overwhelming notes of smoke and present malt base, this one smells quite meaty. Tastes even better with the right sweetness and an almost burnt character that I didn't see coming in the aroma or appearance: I am sure it can be attributed to the malt bill.

Finishes bitter, roasty-astringent, and dry. Carbonation is felt on the higher side given the light body, and the flavors are clean. An easy drinking beer that will compliment many foods nicely.

Scores: Appearance 4/5; Aroma 3.5/5; Taste 4.5/5; Mouthfeel 4/5; Overall 4/5

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A decent off-white head atop a dark brown, iced tea colored body. Nice clarity.

S: Heavy wood smoke, with light brown malt underneath.

T: Smokey flavors are as heavy as the smell suggests, but the malts show more complexity here, adding some caramel and toasted aspects along with a touch of sweetness. Not light on the smoke, but not overly one-dimensional either and the secondary flavors really started to show up for me about half way through a pint.

M: Impressively soft and smooth feel with light carbonation.

For its style, this is easily the best of the few Schell’s beers I’ve tried, though one or two rauchbiers is plenty for me.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A honey – brown appearance with nice carbonation. A thin egg white cap covers the beer, maybe half a finger width. As the beer is rotated around the glass, it leaves a film that dissipates slowly. It’s a very bubbly head, not very thick, more lacey.

Smell- The smoke is noticeable, it reminds me very much of bacon. Not the maple variety however, just that nice smoked bacon flavor on the nose, a little bit of woodiness also. It’s not pine, definitely more like camp fire. It’s a nice addition to pick up here.

The hop profile is non-existent, but that’s just fine for this style. Overall, this rauchbier gives off a gentle smokiness that isn’t overwhelming, and that’s a big plus.

Taste – Yeah, that’s good. The smokiness on the palate leans more towards the camp fire than the smoked bacon flavor. As it recedes, the smokiness changes to roasted malt profile. The bitterness is there, but only slightly. Not much snap to it, but this means there is more time to focus on the smoked flavor. It’s not really a “big” smoked profile, this is more of an ease you in offering.

It’s light and swiftly changes to a roasted malt taste you might find in a porter. The smoked wood / sauna taste is there and gone.

Mouth feel - What is an appropriate mouth feel for a smoked beer? It doesn’t need to be big and chewy, this is more medium and smooth, which fits the profile very well. It’s not caustic, and the smoke taste doesn’t lend itself to an overly dry finish. It’s very neutral.

Maybe falls a little farther on the ale side of the spectrum. Still, what to take away overall is that it is a fairly smooth finish, and definitely drinkable.

Overall: So far, this smoked offering is one of the easiest to drink if one is new to the style. The smoke is not overly done, as in it’s not trying to go really big. So it won’t scare new smoked beer drinkers off. And it finishes with a relatively generic roasted malt flavor.

This familiarity will also help ease in the smoke beer drinker. Add to that the fact that it’s an easy drink, and there’s no reason why the Schell’s Rauchbier shouldn’t at least be tried by those that come across it.

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Photo of Greggy
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark amber color with hints of brown. The very light tan head is rather quick to dissipate leaving no lacing.

S- Deep caramel, prunes, raisins and smoke! Minnesota butcher shops comes to mind with smoked venison. A little bit of campfire comes through as well.

T- Starts out very malty with some dark fruit notes, nice bits of smoke and a slightly dry finish.

M- Very round bock-like feel. Appropriate carbonation.

D- Schell Brewery lists this as 6-7% abv. Overall it's very drinkable and a great beer, especially with food. I hope to find more!

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Lighter brown with a three finger beige head. Lots of active carbonation make for a very tightly bubbled head with a nice creamy smooth top. Carbonation bubbles are actually pretty crazy. A little lighter than I would have expected, but amazing clarity.

S: Smoke. Dominated by a peaty, woody, scotch-like smoke. I think maybe a little maltiness would be ok, though I suppose "scotch-like" means that is what I'm smelling. But there is no other word that can describe this than smoky. There's some mineral, sine earth, but it's all just a part of the smoke.

T: Still extremely smoky, but there's a bit more of a roast that comes through, somewhat chocolatey. The smoke is there, it's intense, but it isn't overwhelming. I love it.

M: Nice carbonation and body help this beer from becoming overwhelming.

D: Good beer to drink, great beer to drink with food.

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Photo of plfahey
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Amber, with bright ruby red highlights. Brilliantly clear. Pillowy beige head with moderately high retention and some nice lacing.

Aroma-Smells a little bit rougher than tranditional smoked lagers (Schlenkerla), but still pretty darn good-wood fire, slightly hammy/bacony, and a certain, fruity wood aroma like old furniture, I believe from the cherry wood.

Flavor-The flavor is just alright after the aroma-somewhat watery smoke flavors, with notes of cherry wood and light char, similar to the wood flavors imparted by plank smoking fish or meat. A bit sweet, though rather dry in the finish. Dissipates too quickly, and lacks a depth of smokiness.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth with no harsh edges.

Pretty good attempt at a classic rauchbier, but this one falls a little flat on the flavor for me.

 884 characters

Photo of AmericanGothic
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint. Label says this is Batch #3.

A: Pours a clear, dark copper with one finger of pale tan head. Good retention and lace.

S: Good dose of smoke with a bit of caramel malt underneath.

T: Good smoky flavor up front yields a bit to some sweet malt in the middle, but then the smoke comes back on the finish. Good stuff.

M: Fairly light and a bit creamy.

O: This is a very nice rauchbier. The smoke is assertive but never gets out of line. Glad to see such a nice example of the style from an American brewer. Another win for Schell.

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Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Russian River glass on 8/24/11.

Pours a dark brown with deep reddish amber hues when held to the light. Nice bubbly light colored head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. I would like to have seen a little lacing on this but otherwise very nice.

Smell is of some roasted malts and... Camp fire! really nice subtle smoky campfire aroma. Some sweet malt hits as well.

Taste is again a nice touch of smoke and some carmel malting. A little sweetness but not much. Interesting. I would like some more sweet to the flavor but its really nice.

Mouthfeel is moderate to medium but moves smoothly through the pallet with a nice tingle. Almost like a smoky, malty, lager feel to it.

Overall I am really surprised and impressed with this offering from Schells. I wish I could have this every fall around a Minnesota campfire in late October. Delicious.

 868 characters

Photo of bwiechmann
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Around $10-11 for a six pack of 12oz bottles. Poured into a pint glass

Pours a gorgeous amber color with a small head of white foam which disappears almost instantly- very very few carbonation bubbles noticed but still an attractive beer.

Smell is primarily smoke of course but this is supported by bready caramel malt- smoke doesn't punch in the face but is assertive.

Taste is great. Smoke up front announces its presence and then lets the sweet caramel malt notes take center stage- then the smoke reappears at the end. Great balance.

Weaker mouthfeel. Excessively low carbonation- not sure if something was wrong with this bottle but the beer was nearly dead flat by the end which does not match up with what I've heard others say about this brew. Didn't detract hugely from the overall impression but hopefully the others in the 6er are better.

Drinkability is high due to deliciousness. Goes down easy but after 1 or 2, one may be overloaded with smoky goodness. Worth a try- a great beer in a style which doesn't get the attention it deserves. I'll adjust my score if carbonation is better with the next bottle.

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Photo of MinnesotaRIS
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From bottle. Amber color with a head that dissipates a bit quickly. Strong smoke aroma reminiscent if salmon or jerky. Very flavorful of smoked malt and mild hopping. Smooth mouthfeel and very pleasant aftertaste. I recommend trying this beer. Good craft of a rauchbier.

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Photo of LoadedSchells
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I see a dark crystal clear mahogany hue with a light parchment head that retains for only a few minutes with a wee bit of lacing. It wreaks of smoked meats and bonfire. I must say for a rauch this one tastes really close to the classic Bamburg Slench rauch. Of all of the rachbiers I have had this is by far closest to the authentic German variety. Heavy smoke and heavy malt makes it a delightful rauch variety. Doesn't quite have the same mouth as a German a bit light. Overall I'd say the little German town of New Ulm does a great job of representing the style. This is my favorite stag of the bunch.

 604 characters

Photo of beachscrat
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sixer of 12oz bottles. Cool classic old school labels title "Stag Series" Limited Release Batch no. 3

Deep mahogany with brilliant clarity, about a finger of foam. Sophisticated.

Initially intense maybe fruit wood smoke aroma that fades into roasted malt and bready lager yeast.

Clean, very green wet wood smoke, does not linger or distract. Moves into toasted bittersweet malt and bread with a clean finish.

Pair this with slow braised pork on the bone. Think sweet rich pork fat! BBQ might be over doing it though, too much smoke. A softer gouda would be another good choice.
Actually some buckwheat flapjacks with some Grade A maple syrup would be a killer pairing as well.

 680 characters

Photo of MNPostal
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was at a local liqour store and mentioned my love of smoke style beers and they suggested I grab their last 6 pack of this. I am so glad they did. I am very impressed with this beer. While it is a smoke with that wonderful bacon taste, it seems to taste lighter than most smoke beers. It was chilled a little more than I would normally have it at, but what a treat on a warm summer day.

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Photo of psykosis
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep malty molasses colors. Beautiful. Dark and mysterious.

S-clean yet smokey if that makes sense. It's intriguing. Kinda smells burnt, but in a good way.

T-a lot of smoke up front, followed quickly by an sweetness, much like maple syrup. Back of the palate has a little bit of hops. Looking back on the flavor, it really was like mellow hickory smoked maple syrup propped up by a solid but subtle hop backbone.

M-looks, smells, and tastes like it should be rich and thick, but it's not. It's simple, smooth and light. Goes down smooth and easy.

O-complex, unique, and unexpected. Great blend of flavors, and very satisfying. Could be a great beer all year long. Even in the summer, the lightness of the mouthfeel makes this a very enjoyable beer. I got this beer as a gift, and opened it with no preconceived notions, and was happily surprised with the results. Great beer, and it would be fantastic with some good bbq.

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Rauchbier from August Schell Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 53 ratings.
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